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have in mind that you are studying this material as a merit for a specific
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spoken loshon horah
- If someone tells me loshon horah casually, without
intention to harm, and without any ulterior motives but rather just as a story,
may I believe him?
- Although we do find instances where the Torah gives
credibility under such circumstances, regarding the prohibition of
believing loshon horah it seems that you are still not allowed to believe
him. You may however suspect.
horah when there is circumstantial evidence present
- A friend told me loshon horah. I have circumstantial
evidence that what he said is true. May I believe him?
- It depends. I will first list the situations where even
having evidence does not skirt the prohibition of listening to, or
believing loshon horah.
- If you can judge him favorably: Even if you have
evidence that what the teller said is true; if you can judge the person
whom it was told about, favorably, and you don’t, you are in violation of
believing loshon horah.
- If it is not relevant to you: If the information
is not relevant to you, you may not listen to it.
- Partial or second hand evidence: If you only have
partial evidence, or if you heard the evidence from another party and you
don’t have first hand knowledge, you may not believe the words of loshon
If you have clear first hand
evidence and the information is relevant to you, i.e. so that you may protect
yourself, or distance yourself from that person, and there is no way or
obligation to judge him favorably, you may believe the loshon horah.
This section is
formatted as a conversation between Oded and Menaseh. Oded is encouraging his
friend Menaseh to be more careful in guarding his tongue from evil speech. The
thoughts in this section are primarily based on the sefer, Shmiras Haloshon.
Oded: Our sages teach us that Hashem forbore the
sins of idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed, but not the sin of abstention from
Menaseh: How do you know that?
Oded: The posuk in Yirmiyahu asks the question: “As
a result of what was the land lost?… And Hashem said, for they forsook my Torah
that I gave them”. We know from the Navi that the Jews of that time where also
guilty of the 3 cardinal sins, yet the reason Hashem gives for us losing the
land is “for they forsook my Torah”.
Menaseh: There are many people who are not careful
about this sin.
Oded: You’re right. And as a result, they don’t
guide their children in the direction of Torah, causing a general weakness in
the study of Torah, the foundation of the world.
Menaseh: As I said, I think it would be very
beneficial if we discuss the great reward for those who study Torah and the
severe punishment for those who are negligent in it. This will help strengthen
my motivation to learn Torah diligently.
Oded: Tomorrow I will start by describing the great
benefit and reward for those who engage in Torah study.
If you have any
questions regarding these lessons, feel free to contact Rabbi Faivel Adelman by
hitting the reply button.
If you know others
who would appreciate this program, please encourage them to join. The more
people participating, the greater the zechus! In addition, you will have a
share in the merit of anyone who improves their speech as a result of you
signing them onto this program!!
1) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 7 Par. 9
2) Sefer Chofetz Chaim Sec. 1 Chap. 7 Par. 10, 11 Be’er
Mayim Chaim 25
Sefer Shmiras Haloshon Sha’ar Hatorah Chap 1